PARKS, cemeteries and crematoriums across County Durham have been awarded prestigious Green Flags.

A dozen Durham County Council sites have received the national accreditation from the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, in recognition of the excellent standards of maintenance, management and good practice.

The sites are Annfield Plain Park, Blackhill and Consett Park, Castleside Cemetery, Durham Crematorium and Woodland Cemetery, Hardwick Park in Sedgefield, Moorside Cemetery, Mountsett Crematorium, Riverside Park and Ropery Lane Cemetery in Chester le Street, Sacriston Cemetery, Bishop Auckland's Town Recreation Park and Wharton Park, in Durham City.

Blackhill and Consett Park also achieved a Green Heritage award for the second year running.

Councillor Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships at Durham County Council, said: “To achieve 12 Green flags for a third consecutive year is a fantastic achievement and we are delighted Keep Britain Tidy continues to recognise our excellent standards. “Each flag awarded honours the volunteers who work in partnership with us to maintain our parks and open spaces in excellent condition.”